Medellin Expat Bares all in this Revealing Article!
I’m taking the gloves off for this post.
If you’re anything like I was a couple years before my first visit to Medellin, reading this post will totally slay all your doubts and fears, worries and concerns about traveling.
Yep, that’s you, if you’re part of the 64% of people who haven’t yet left the US, ever… and if you’re one of the minority who have, but you don’t have any fresh stamps on that fancy paper, it’s time you read every word in this post to motivate you to action!
(And yes, if you’re not from the US but want to travel this is still for YOU.)
Now, let’s talk turkey…
Believe me, I can relate to what you’re going through: it’s hard to leave a comfort zone!
Before I picked up and left the country, I was living a perfectly decent life in America. I had a great bed. Job was good. I had things. Events. Places to be, and people who would miss me.
Life was pretty incredible, all things considered.
That’s the beauty about living in a “first-world” country… we have nothing but “first world problems.” I remember cataloging my “issues.” It went something like this (embarrassing, but I’m doing this for you, remember!):
-Want a nicer car/bigger house/better apartment
-Want more money from my job/better title/higher status
-Want more education, want to feel like I’m more aware
-Want to be more grateful and less about me…
Ok, so that was the tip of the iceberg.
All these silly desires, and no real satisfaction in my life. No real sense of being at a peace that I knew existed. I wanted more… but deep down, I knew getting those THINGS would only make my desires worse.
What I really sought wasn’t something, but experiences.
I needed quality life-experience, with strangers, in strange places.
Time went by, and I watched myself searching up new stories about world travel. I searched plane tickets, and prices. I looked up hotels and hostels. I day-dreamed of meeting strangers in faraway lands, and doing things for people who looked nothing like me.
I wanted to make a difference…
Knowing a few souls who had gotten off their butts and done exactly this, I envied the difference in their features. I could see the changes travel had wrought. I knew the value of what they had done and yet, time kept slipping by me, with no exit strategy.
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Where to go occupied my biggest block of time. The options were so endless, I simply kept drowning in choice…
Medellin was among a long list of preferred destinations I’d read blogs and articles about. It was someplace a lot of bloggers from the UK seemed to love, and Aussies and more. What I liked about it was that I could use that spot as a springboard to travel anywhere else in South America.
Look at some terrific apartments in Medellin now.
But then, I’d come across (yet) another blog that had one or two negative things to say about Medellin. So I’d end up back at the drawing board. Looking instead to Thailand, or Vietnam, or Sri Lanka.
And then life would intervene. And nothing happened.
My life went on like this for a long time. In bars on the weekends, friends would commiserate with me: “yeah, I thought about going there, too!”
We were busy talking about doing stuff, without actually doing anything.
Then we’d start another work week, punching the clock, making some corporation richer, all the while bitching about the pay… the unreasonableness… wallowing in misery!
Another time, I shared my dreams of travel with my grandmother. She was all negativity and worry. “You’ll get killed down there!” She shuddered at the mere thought that her progeny would hatch such a dubious plan. “You’ve got a good job,” she remonstrated me. “Why would you just ‘up and leave’ when your life is so good?”
That was it. Life was good.
Well, wasn’t it? “Maybe I should stay here,” my newly-fear-laden self said…
Then it hit me:
Here I was, talking myself out of going (yet again) because of some ill-perceived concept that I had an obligation to keep making this company money. And because of my well-meaning grannie.
But wait a second! Another voice in my head chimed in: “Like this is the only job you’ll ever get!?”
As if taking a sabbatical from working wasn’t a wonderful way to escape and plan and see my world anew!
And, as if all my knowledge and wisdom from being a highly paid technical expert wouldn’t still be in demand a few months from now?
So what if they didn’t give me an unpaid 90-day break? I could quit. In fact, I might come back to find a new job and end up somewhere better than I am now.
(The personal growth I eventually got from travelling would insure that I came back to “better everything,” I know now.)
I realized: People like me are going through life, with too little first-hand knowledge of what it means to see the rest of the world. To be there, and there… out in the places we hear about in the news.
I read a statistic that finally got me onto the first plane: 64% of Americans don’t have a passport.
That means (generously) that only 32% have travelled. One in three.
I didn’t want to be in that group any longer. In that moment, I made my final decision: I was going to add myself to the world traveling group.
As soon as my mind was made up, it was as if the world opened it’s loving arms to me. Things started falling in place. Turned out, my work was willing to let me come back after an extended departure… but it also turned out, I didn’t need them.
I booked that flight to Medellin. I found an amazing apartments, which I could rent, month-to-month. I was going to have high-speed internet, and live in a nicer neighborhood than I lived in while in the US…
Then, I started reading about “Digital Nomads,” a term I kept coming across…
This really excited me.
Working from a laptop, these girls and guys were trooping around the free world, stamping passports left and right, blogging about their adventures, getting paid (how?) to report and take photos of these exotic foods they were enjoying…
It was enough (almost) to make me jump on the next plane. Instead, I resolved to make a plan: I realized my budget was enough to last me a year, if I was conservative.
But looking at what these digital nomads were (and are) doing was even more thrilling. Many find ways to support themselves abroad. Some are making money… and a few are getting rich!
I resolved to support myself, while abroad. Working part-time, from my laptop, I could study Spanish, take on a few jobs as a freelancer, while enjoying the myriad experiences the adventure abroad represented.
And so it was…
Just as I planned it. And I’ve had a wonderful time. And I’ve had challenges… but one thing that’s never, ever occurred?
Regrets. Yes, I’ve never regretted doing this. Never, nunca, nadie… And I just left the US, to be back in Medellin, in time for Christmas, where I’ve been living on-again and off-again, for several years.
I’m so glad I overcame my fears. The country here is phenomenal. It’s a big city, but none of the things I feared have come to pass… I like what Mark Twain says: “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”
Amen to that. If this post inspires you to finally take action on living your BEST version of a FREE life…
Won’t you join us?
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